Thursday, 18 February 2016 16:58

The Fallout from Republicans' Filibuster or Rejection of Obama's nomination to replace Justice Scalia

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For some reason I cannot explain I love to make predictions on controversies like the one above. I predicted nearly a year ago that neither Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders who are today leading in the polls would emerge as their Party's nominees even their central issues in their campaign would appear to have caught fire with a cross section of the members of their Parties who are aggrieved and needed a drastic change and would therefore tolerate anyone however crazy who appear to be promising those changes.

Even in poor Nigeria where irrational thinking in Politics and Poverty have made foolhardiness the conventional wisdom because ignorant voters are not looking for tomorrow or thereafter, They just want to survive for today and leave tomorrow in the hands of God. They often forget that Heavens has been seen and known in many countries including Israel to only help those who help themselves. Why do you think Natanyahu and most Israeli leaders from both sides of the isle have never taken their covenant relationship with God for granted by simply folding up their arms and expecting God to perform His miracle and to fulfil His contractual agreement with them?

Things got so bad in Nigeria that Nigerian voters in 2015 decided to reject President Jonathan and the PDP even though Jonathan had outspent the APC more than 20 times because Jonathan had believed he could buy his victory because he had the keys to the Nigerian Treasury. He stole and spent the money like a drunken sailor. Today Nigeria is being held to ransom for that because what goes around comes around. Today one Dollar is worth more than 300 and could hit 500 the way Nigeria is going. I make this point to show that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have a reason to be looked upon favorably by some elements in their Parties who are no longer for experience, temperament, youthfulness, know-how and track record  as the most important attributes they are looking for in a candidate for President

Many prefer Donald Trump because he is self-funded and he gloats about that and people buy it because they conveniently but dangerously forget that if he goes there to blow up the country, he too would not be accountable to anybody but himself. The 75 year old Bernie Sanders on the other hand is promising the Moon to make America the Eldorado where everything is going to be free and all student loans are going to be forgiven. He is going to uproot the foundation pillars of Capitalism by taxing the hell out of Wall Street and making the tax payers like you and me to be the one to pay for the freebies. Both front runners knew next to nothing about Foreign Policy but they are telling Americans "Don't worry and be happy" because we would go there to learn on the job. The plain truth is that Americans have to worry because America as leader of the World have every reason to worry  and be concerned about who we elect as President because the choice can be the difference between life and death.

There is a chance that Donald Trump would be so embarrassed by losing the nomination that he could make a last minute decision to run as an independent to make a case and to send a powerful message to the Republicans they could not mess with him and get away with it. How do I know that? I know it because Donald Trump is so used to winning as a very successful Real Estate salesman that he now thinks that money and plenty of it are all that matter in life.. Donald Trump has had such an easy life that he no longer knows how to endure or manage failure or poverty or misfortune. If you don't believe me just go and check how many times that guy has filed for Bankruptcy despite his gloating that he is a very rich man who can afford to fund his campaign without taking a dime from anybody, but the guy depends on heavy loans to run his business and he takes advantage of the capitalist system to take from those who don't have to give to those who have too much already. If that is the man you want for President, I beg to disagree with you. Without being disagreeable or insulting and insolent like Donald Trump does to all of his opponents talking down to them and calling them names.

Donald Trump has changed all the rules of decency in the game and the Media are scared to death to take him on. If Donald Trump behaves the same way he is behaving now as President, God save America. Some of you may joke about it. It is nothing short of a nightmare for the mainstream of Americans who want to live in peace with the rest of the world. If America builds a wall and closes her gates to many of the displaced people of the world who are law-abiding but are only running away from sure death in their homes, that could only means that America has lost her soul. And what makes it the greatest country and the best experiment in human history. That is my fear about Donald Trump and it is a legitimate one.

I believe that Donald trump made the greatest mistake of his life by equating success in business with success in Politics. The two are two parallel lines which never meet but the guy is too ego driven and arrogant to admit that simple truth.

I have never seen Donald Trump look as dejected, miserable, and deflated when Barack Hussein Obama got under his skin at a White House Correspondents Dinner by poking a joke at him that made people laugh at him for his failed attempt to prove that Obama was not born in the United States. Obama made that joke the very night he had ordered those brave Naval Seals to go capture or kill Osama Bin Laden under cover of darkness, in a nuclearized Pakistan. Obama had kept that decision close to his chest and was looking as funny and as relaxed as he could possibly be that nobody in that Dinner could have suspected  something that serious and important was about to happen. Who says Obama is a weak leader? They should go tell that to the Mountains!

The first black President had to know the mission could possibly fail and ultimately derail, if the Iran hostage release by Jimmy Carter in 1981 was anything to go by. He knew the failure of that mission could forever taint and compromise his presidency and his quest for a second term, but the man took the risk nonetheless and his body language that night did not betray the slightest inkling of any anxiety or panic. That is what I call the mark of a great leader and Commander-in-Chief of the greatest Military the world has come to know.

He was very much unlike Donald Trump who is now asking Americans to give him the keys to the White House. Barack Obama has total control over his temper and his emotions and he trusted his instincts to be able to handle whatever happens to the Mission and the aftermath. He fully understood that a President is a multi- tasker and never a one trick pony like Bernie Sanders. President Obama clearly understands he should be able to handle multiple emergencies at the same time and come out a winner in all of them. I remember a black American of Jamaican origin who once ran for Mayor of New York on just one issue that rents are too high in New York. The man had to know he was only running to draw attention to his issue. He was not running to win. Of course he lost but he got the winner Mayor Bloomberg and the current Mayor to address his issue. I am tolerant of Bernie Sanders because he was initially running to get the Democrat nominee to pay attention to some of the issues he was raising but the 75 year old guy now says he wants the job for himself. The man would lose to any Republican he runs against even if that man is a Donald Trump. Can you imagine a Bernie Sanders standing on the podium with a Marco Rubio or a John Kasich or a Jeb Bush or a Ted Cruz Age would suddenly become a huge issue and Bernie Sanders, the Socialist would lose by a wide margin because he would be perceived as coming to office to tax and spend and to balloon the size of Government which is a "no go" area in American Politics. If Bernie becomes the Democratic nominee, it is all over for the Democrats in November. I can tell you that from a deep knowledge base. I appreciate some of what Bernie Sanders is saying but he does not have the political capital to push them thru like the Clintons are able to do and they have the scars to prove that. In their first 8 years in the White House and in Hillary's 6 years as the Senator from New York and 4 years as United States Secretary of State. I do not speak in parables. I provide the facts and figures to back up my position in this debate.

If by default Donald Trump is elected President which I very much doubt, you can predictably hear him, in a moment of anger or frustration, calling another Head of State a low energy guy or a liar thereby forgetting all the diplomatic decorum and protocols of that office and causing a huge international rift with a few allies of America who have their own interest which may be quite different from American interest. Donald Trump may have been able to roll-over a few Real Estate moguls he has dealt with in his business life. It isn't going to be that easy to rollover an Angela Merkel of Germany, a David Cameron of Great Britain  a Dlema Youseff of Brazil or a Justin Trudeau of Canada to mention a few. I can tell you that. They are going to cut him down to size and deflate his ego and balloon in a heartbeat.

I personally would be nervous to have the decoder to launch an atomic or the nuclear bomb placed in the hands of such an unstable character whose ultimate goal is making profit and nothing else. I know American well enough to predict that most American voters would not fail to factor that restraint into their decision as they enter the polling booth in November to pull the lever for a candidate of their own choice. As a father of two sons proudly serving in the US Navy, as we speak, I will be insane not to factor that possibility into my equation before pulling the lever for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders in this election if the push comes to shove.

Donald Trump has managed to survive this far because far too many individuals have entered the race against him. If it was just a maximum of about 5 or 6 candidates to begin with, Donald Trump would have unraveled long before now. He is holding on due to that factor. When the choice is reduced to 2 or 3 candidates, Donald Trump is sure to go down because of all the factors I have stated above.

That said let me now focus like a laser beam on the fallout likely to come from Republicans filibuster or rejection of Obama's nomination to replace a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, the most conservative Judge on the Supreme Court.

I am a democrat, but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I put aside my die-in-the wool label or bias as a democrat. I love Justice Scalia to death for his principled stand in that Court but more so for his chutzpah and intellect in that Court. I have read some of his opinions in that Court and the kinds of questions he used to ask from Defense attorneys and witnesses. I can tell the man is not a pushover any way you slice it.

The Supreme Court has lost an intellectual giant and a legal monument to tell you the truth. Justice Clarence Thomas, the only black Judge on the Supreme Court, would want the world to believe that he is even more conservative than Justice Scalia. The guy is nothing but a Lilliputian compared to Justice Scalia.  He is a far cry compared to Justice Scalia for the mere fact that Justice Thomas is so devious that you never can tell what he is thinking because the man never asks any question from anybody. He could sit for a 3 hour session and never asks or throw a single question. Yes, he will take notes alright, but he never says a word.

Justice Scalia on the other hand is not shy or afraid to ask questions and to even throw a few jokes in so doing. But with Justice Scalia, what you see is what you get. He was decidedly one of the greatest and brightest minds in that Court and he would let you know, up front, there is life after the Court room.

He was a conservative of a conservative and his family life reflected his family values and convictions. He raised 9 direct children of his own and 33 grandchildren. How could such a man be anything but a real human being and the man who practices what he preaches with a clocklike precision? I love and respect the man even though he will listen to the same argument with his friend on the Bench Bader Ginsburg and still come to a diametrically opposed conclusions. He was a priceless jewel of inestimable value and his place at the Supreme Court would be most difficult to fill. He often reminded me of another Italian orator the one and only Mario Cuomo of New York who would have been an excellent choice as a Judge on the Supreme Court or as President of the United States. You have got to give it to the Italian Americans. They are one hell of a people in America.

It was President Richard Nixon who once stated that the greatest attribute any President should ever pray for is Luck. He agreed that experience, intellect, character and principle are all needed for success in the White House but he listed Luck as the number one and I totally agree with him. He further said that you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose. Barack Obama would appear to have exemplified all of those qualities better than Donald Trump or any of the individuals running for President in the Republican Party today.

It is a tragedy for Justice Scalia's family that their Head of Family at 79 on that fateful Valentine day went to bed feeling very sick the night before, but never woke up in the morning. The guy reminds me of Obafemi Awolowo's death in Nigeria. Our hearts go out to all of his family, as we mourn with them the loss of their loved one who is first and foremost a family man and a father.

President Obama had said that much in a short statement announcing the death from the Rose Garden. The point I am making is that the death may well afford Obama, the opportunity to become the President that appoint 3 Judges of the Supreme Court. That is a luxury that few American Presidents have enjoyed. If you call that luck I would not disagree with you.

The loss of Justice Scalia came under his watch and he reserves the right and the power under the Constitution to appoint a replacement. It would be unthinkable like the Republicans are suggesting that he should let the next President, whoever that may be, to be the one to make that appointment.

That, as far as I am concerned, will be tantamount to a kiss of Death. Why must Obama do that when the death has occurred a whole year to the end of his presidency. Why should Obama settle for less when he can get more by making the appointment? If the position is reversed, the Republicans would be itching to fill the vacancy with another conservative Judge with immediate effect. The Republicans have a right to not want Obama to appoint Justice Scalia's replacement because they knew he would be appointing a progressive Judge and not an Ultra Conservative.

The beauty of American Politics is that nothing is written in stone in America. When Justice Roberts was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by George Bush the Second, his presumption is that Justice Robert is going to further entrench the domination of conservative Judges on that Court by coming down on the side of the Republicans on every major decision. That has not happened at all. Justice Kennedy was also expected to lean on the side of the Conservative Judges he too has refused to toe the party line therefore becoming the swing vote in the Court on most of their major decisions. It is a great country. When President Reagan appointed Scalia he knew Scalia was going to be a force to reckon with as a conservative Judge and he sure proved Ronald Reagan right but he did it with class and integrity that would live long after him.

My point is that President Obama may appoint someone tomorrow on the presumption the candidate is going to throw the balance in favor of the Democrats but the Judge could get there and start to lean on the side of the Conservatives and since the position is held for life there is no way to undo what has been done.  Once the individual is nominated and confirmed by the Senate by a simple majority the country is stuck with him for life. Only death or voluntary retirement can change that, Justice Bader Ginsburg who is over 80 has not retired because she understood what is at stake. It is a great country. But Death which can come calling at any time is the ultimate decider. Justice Scalia would have loved to remain in that job till the age of 90 but Death said "No" We are having this conversation because of that.

The mere fact that Obama would have a chance to nominate another Supreme Court Judge is a history-making event for Obama and even for the Democrats who for once would now have 5 progressive Judges to 4 for the Conservatives for the first time in close to 50 years.

Under Justice Rehnquist and Justice Roberts the Conservative Judges have dominated the Court for years. Now that the position is about to change the Republicans are now crying wolf. The way the founding fathers have designed it is the best. The goal is not to forever have one Party dominating the Court. It is therefore a breach of the original intention of the founding fathers that the Conservative are now urging Obama not to make the nomination. They are saying that if he goes ahead to make the nomination, they would not hold any hearing and if they are forced by circumstances beyond their control to hold hearings, they are going filibuster, and make it impossible to have an up or down vote on the nomination.

If they keep their promise not to allow the nomination to sail thru, the remaining segment of this article would be devoted to briefly defining or exploring what would be the fallout for the Republicans and the Democrats in the next presidential election.

The Supreme Court and the role it played in American Politics especially between the Legislature and the Executive and the 4th Estate of the Realm is far too important to keep the Court in abeyance for one year and to put all the cases on hold just because the Republicans do not want the conservative domination of the Court to end or change hands.

That is not an argument the Republicans can win when the rubber meets to road. If they manage to not ratify or confirm the nomination that is going to be a Pyrrhic victory for them because of what they are going to lose because of their failure to give an up or down vote on the nomination. Once the President makes the nomination, Republicans would have no legs to stand in opposing it or delaying it. That could possibly lead to a gang-up against the Republicans in the next Presidential election in a big way. It is a double edge sword for the Republicans. The decision is going to hurt them and destroy their credibility irredeemably. They are going to have to back down under pressure because they are on the wrong side of this issue again.

The Supreme Court has been known to weigh in on major decisions in American politics where there is a disagreement between the two major political parties. That the passing of Justice Scalia has now reduced the Court to 4 conservative Judges and 4 progressive Judges is a development that cannot be tolerated for too long. The 9th Judge has to be appointed to let the Court be able to effectively play its role as envisaged by the founding fathers.

The Court effectively played that role in the Brown case in 1954. It played the same pivotal role in the Row versus Wade verdict. It surely played it with regards to whether or not Gays and Lesbians have a right to be accorded equal right under the Law even though most if not all of the Judges like most Americans do not approve of their sexual orientation. The Judges have made that clear in their ruling. They gave the same verdict twice on the Affordable Health Care Reform Law in which Chief Justice Robert cast the decisive vote despite his conservative credential on that Court. The Republicans and the fanatical Christians wanted Justice Roberts crucified for that but there was nothing they could do to him. The man did the right thing and History would be kind to him for doing that. Republicans were making hysteria while Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court had made history.

My point is that Republicans would be hurting themselves and their chances in the next general elections if they are perceived as obstructionists by the vast majority of the voters. They could even lose their majority in the Senate and the House in addition to losing the presidency next November.

If they insist on obstructing President Obama. It is going to be another big victory for Obama and the Democrats. The passing of Justice Scalia offers a chance for the Democrats to increase the number of progressive judges from 4 to 5 and a chance to further consolidate the Obama legacies in American History.

Among possible nominees are names like an Indian immigrant Judge Sri Srinivasan who was approved to the Washington District Court by 97 to zero vote. There is Lauretta Lynch, the current Attorney General who succeeded Eric Holder. There is a Mr. Johnson the Secretary for Home land Security and there is the former Majority leader in the Senate, the great George Mitchell who is 82 and could serve there for a few years before his retirement.

There are so many other very good and sound candidates and products of Harvard, Yale or Princeton and Columbia and Stanford and Georgetown and Cornell and the Southern Methodist University and Emory University and New York University that Obama might yet tap for the job. Good and very qualified people are never in short supply in America that has won the great majority of the Nobel Peace Awards in every discipline.

So the Republicans would be demonstrating their hatred and homophobia for Barack Obama again by refusing to hold a hearing or make an up or down vote for whoever is nominated by Obama. Either way the Republicans would be the big loser and Obama and the Democrats would still laugh last and laugh best if the Republicans ever try to obstruct the President on who should replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. The ball is on the Court of the President to go ahead and make his nomination. I am hundred percent sure he is going to get it right again. Unto God be the glory that the first black President would be leaving the office with so many accomplishments for historians to write about.

I rest my case.

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